Deebo Samuel has broken out into one of the NFL's best receivers in 2021, and the 49ers hope he will continue dominating in a San Francisco uniform for years to come. The organization is making a Samuel contract extension a "priority" this offseason, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Saturday morning citing league sources.
"I'm told both sides are looking at a potential blockbuster deal this offseason, there is motivation to do it because his price is only getting higher," Rapoport said on NFL Network Saturday. "He's a receiver who can also play running back, no doubt Rich he is going to want to get paid like a receiver. Key question here, does this reach $20 million per year?"
Samuel was a first-team All-Pro after racking up 1,770 total yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns. After the 49ers' running-back room was decimated by injury early in the season, Samuel became a focal point of the running game as well, often lining up behind Jimmy Garoppolo and getting handoffs out of the backfield.
The highest current average annual value (AAV) at wide receiver in the NFL belongs to DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals, who is taking in $27.5 million a year. He and Julio Jones ($22 million) top the list of largest salaries for wideouts, although they are much further into their NFL careers than the 26-year-old Samuel is.
Samuel's value as both a runner and a receiver makes him a unique case, and it will be hard to know what kind of contract he will be negotiating for until the 49ers' season ends.
San Francisco 49ers
If he can help lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl during this playoff stretch, that likely would even further increase his value to the organization.
It could be quite the offseason for Samuel after such a strong 2021 campaign.